Friday, August 29, 2008

Artist's Journals

I am thinking a lot about artist's journals these days. I was in a "skinny book" swap at and I LOVE how little chunky bits of art lump up the pages. I enjoy holding the ribbons and fluffy yarns in my hands as I turn the pages. I just like add-ons, embellishments. It must be related to my love of beads.

But I also like to write. I like to read what I wrote. And all of this art on my pages, though fun, is distracting. Horrifying as it is to say, I might have to have two journals. Because I am liking using the visual stuff to tell my story. But it seems to work better for the headlines. writing is so ... flowing. So many artistic rocks in this journal. I spend all my time circling around them and I am feeling crazed to not be able to just. well ... GO.

Also thinking about friendship. I feel like I have been under one of those rocks for the last 10 years. Oh, >sigh<

I guess this is one of those topics to make a page spread about, yeah?

Well then I'm off. I have been making 5 sets of tall, skinny curtains into three sets of quite wide, short curtains for the classroom. A little checkerboard Seminole border (all with the same fabric so an extreemly subtle checkerboard) to use up the cutoffs and fill out the width of the curtain behind the teacher's desk. I keep thinking that all this work is art-juju to give the teacher, and thus my daughter, a good year.

We do what we can.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Swap Night at the O.K. Library!

You know, the thing I like about showing people art ideas is that you all come right back at me with fabulous ideas of your own! I loved ATC Night yesterday. I can hardly wait to do more.

We had a strong little group last night and I got permissions to show you some of what we did. Our theme was using those little foam adhesive dots to play with making 3-D ATCs. This is in my book: The Great Library ATC Swap (available at ).

This one has the picture of a girl being swept up in a tornado - in 3-D!! Oh Nooooo!
And here is a little fairy under the arch at Children's Chapel (an outdoor chapel looking out over the georgous waters of Penobscot Bay). You can't tell, but the fairy is floating above the groud on her foam dot. Again, in order to show the card in full I didn't shoot the angle to get the dimension: this next ATC has REAL sunflower seeds, and two layers of sunflowers. It is awesome in hand!
Here is a girl dancing to the band music - of course in 3-D!There is a granite seal in Rockport Harbor: Andre. He (the live seal) lived here in the 1960's with a local family and there is a book about him, a couple in fact, that you can get at your library. Here is Andre. Can you tell how he is layered?
Here is a multi-dimensional Valentine:Another fairy at Children's Chapel - I tell you, that is a very magical place! This fairy was hand-drawn with sparkle Gelly Roll pens (one of my fave brands) and set in with foam dots:
This is one I worked on. This is a photo of an embroidery I put on a jean jacket when I was about 15. See how the sun rises from behind the hills of rolling chain stitch?Then, as I went looking in the office for our pre-cut ATC backs guess what excellent Librarian Jane left for us? CLEAR ATCs!!! Thank you, Jane! This is what I did with them: made a base ATC picture, and then made a bit of a borderon the clear ATC to hide some foam dots that set the "glass" above the picture. On the sunshine I redrew the sun with permanant gold ink, and on my valentine I drew with sparkly Gelly Rollers. We had a great night (except for the part about my daughter being given a ticket by her teacher for "reading while walking outside a library.") (Joke.)

Our next ATC swap at the library is on Saturday, September 13th, at 2:30, with excellent Iris. See you there!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Thank you all so much!

What a rush of delight that is to send small bits of art all over the world! Wow!! Thank you for saying appreciative things about my artworks, and for all the folks in the general area of the-hurricane-that-isn't-so-much: how relieved I am to hear that Fay isn't acting too crazy.

So: well-met and Happy Art to Germany, Canada, Ireland, VAx2, KY, TXx3, OH, CA, FLx2, GA, & MA!

(I am definitely not cranky or fearful anymore!!)

ATC giveaways are so much fun!

This is such a treat. I just have so much fun meeting people from all over, and I have added some little ATC ephemera papers in the envelopes too, this time.

Let's see, I have met people from California, Virginia, two from Florida (God Bless all the people in the path of the storms this week!), I have only had one international player - Ireland, oh, and Massachusetts, Texas...

So: I still have some cards left and am still delighted to send them anywhere in the world: Numbers 1, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 23.

I highly recommend this: just giving them away! It HAS totally changed my emotionally state from feeling small to feeling generous, and happy, and excited to chat with people - artists! - from all over!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Fiddle Camp ATC giveaway...

Oh. I feel foolish.

The ATCs that I thought yesterday might have been stolen at Fiddle Camp were in a coat pocket which I found doing the laundry this morning. Oh dear. I am sorry to have gone so quickly to that place.

Well, to completely change the energy of this whole situation I am going to give them all away as gifts to you. I will picture them all below: if you like one just send me an email ( with your postal address and I will send it to you. (Maybe you had better give me a second choice just in case..) You will see that they have a musical theme going ... in honor of Fiddle Camp ...

I send these with wishes for your happiness:

#1 fiddle-faddle!:

#2 Susannah, don't you cry - the quote reads: "It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry" - !:

#3 The treasure of our passion:#4 Our Bounty:#5 And now I'm found - Amazing Grace is one of my most favorite songs... I can't wait to learn it on my violin:#6 How sweet the sound:#7 Keep Going! - This is encouragement that I heard, and that I think has some merit, and that I heeded at Fiddle Camp:#8 Strong Loving Peace - this is one of the cards that I made while I was teaching the ATC Specialty Workshop at Camp:#9 Come and sit by my side - I enjoyed quite a bit of adult time! (That's a parent joke.) Old and new friends. Oh yay. Also I was in the "Hawk" group, I know, this is a Kestrel/falcon, but not all that far off:#10 Skye Boat Song - Oh! My! I really like this song. It was the only one on the list that I learned before camp, and I learned it a bit off and so had to relearn it, but it is worth it. It is so beautiful. The quote reads: Speed bonny boat like a bird on the wing...:#11 Your Heart's Content - reads: "Fiddle to your Heart's Content":#12 You are the flower of Love #1:#13 You are the flower of Love #2:#14 Banjo Journey:#15 Cello Celebration - You shoulda heard those cellos and basses. Wow! They have such a rich sound. The classes would play for us, only cellos or only basses, and the sound was fantastic!:#16 Contra Dance Band:#17 When She Comes - the quote says: "She'll be coming around the mountain":# 18 'Tis a Gift to be free... - the quote on the front of the card reads: "tis a gift to be simple":

#19 Sing Me Something - guitars are all mixed up in my mind with singing, tho at Camp they often did instrumentals which were lovely: #20 Fiddly-I-Oh:#21 Hot Fiddles! - the caution warning label came from some of our sparklers this past July, and you shoulda heard some of those fiddles at Camp!:#22 Fiddle Travels - the background papers on these last two ATCs came from American Express credit card advertising that looks like luggage and passports!:#23 Don't you cry for me - a fitting end to my Fiddle Camp ATC saga if you take the title another way ... all is well:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gain and Loss

Well, I am home from camp. I took my children to Maine Fiddle Camp. I was not looking forward to the experience. I am not a strong fiddle player and I tend to crash and burn in the self-esteem department when I try. But, as a few of you may know, parenting beloved children gets you to do the most amazing things ... It's all an opportunity. It's all a Gift.

First of all I began hearing of other adult musicians (there's more than just fiddle there) speak in the same beaten up way - even adults who are WAY better players than I am. We have in common that we started learning within the last 5 years or so.

Then I just kept listening to that voice that kept telling me to keep my heart open - which is what playing the violin makes happen to me. (The rush of huge emotions screaming for attention then drowning out what ever else is happening.) So I moved myself down to the Oh-So-Beginner group where these two fabulous women took us through each song (five in all for the week). They were so kind. May the Universe shower them with blessings. By Wednesday I was actually playing the songs so often that even amidst keeping my children dry (its been an unusually rainy August here in Maine), and encouraging them in their endeavors, and hearing the strains of 229 other instruments come winding through the woods: I was able to play the songs with a minimum of mistakes. And guess what. I began to see that it was fun.

I am still processing this. It is huge to be an adult learning at the rate of a child (very fast). And I am learning alot about what love and trust have to do with that. So: a Gift indeed, and I am grateful.

And when the head of camp called for "specialty workshops" (not necessairily musical in nature) I of course brought out my ATC supplies...

About 25, or maybe more, people came and got a whiff of what we already know: can't hardly get enough of this stuff. Yay.

The sad part of my post is that I brought along most of those cards that I had been working on from the last post, adding little pictures of violins and lines of verse from some of the songs that we'd been learning. When I went to work on them this morning I am stunned to say that I cannot find them. While it is still possible that I have misplaced them, I have a bad feeling that they were taken from me.

I also brought along a favorite songbook: Rise Up Singing, for artists to get lines of verse for their cards too. I told everyone not to cut it up, but look: someone did.

Clearly, whoever did that realised their error and at least returned all the cut pages to the tabletop, but she didn't apologise, and it was a surprise this morning to be flipping throught the cut up book and realise what had happened.

So, an open heart, and fun, and maybe some confidence, and some ouchies too. Ain't that just the way.

Sounds like a topic for a country western song...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Camp Art

Well, while we were at camp this week, and while the children were off being ... child-like, I started looking around in my ATC bag. (Some people bring novels for their down time...) I had some sheets of cardstock, and I had a zip-lock bag full of tiny scraps that knew would come in handy eventually! I grouped the bits by color and then glued them to the cardstock.

When I got home I sealed each card with gel medium. This morning I cut them into individual cards - now I have 50!! ATC backers. The last thing that I will do is add words: song lyrics, tea tag sayings, fortune cookie fortunes...
The red/pink sheet has red foil from the inside of a christmas letter from my cousin and odd ends from other crumpled tissue paper ATC backers that I hadn't quite finished.
The greens included some tissue/glue papers, gold doily parts, a teabag envelope and green punch-out strips from a scrapbooking effort.

The pink/purple has torn mulberry paper strips and stars cut from pink scrapbook paper as well as the magazine paper envelope that I got from an enamel artist woman I know, in trade for one of my birthday ATCs back in June.

There is one that has some sparkler packaging mixed in with bits of gold and "go make something" tags from Lisa Volrath's website (tons of freebies there!) ( I think).

And lastly one in orange and yellow and gold: teabag envelope - gold!, handcarved rubber stamps and Tibetan incence packaging on that page.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Say The Words update

So the books are printed and bound and now comes the embellishment part. This is kinda cool so I thought that I'd show you.
First, here is how the embellishments look on the page: (with some metal behind the book)
And here is the process: metal duct tape (found at hardware and auto stores) covering a sheet of craft foam (for this I used a teal color as it matches the colors on the page), and then doodled with Sharpie extra fine permanent markers. I find that I am having to go over the doodles again to make the marks really black. The foam really holds the "engraving" of the line. You don't get it from these photos, but I painted a layer of pale green nail polish (wasn't my color) over the top. It looks wonderful with the other greens on the page.

Later, then.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

At work on the new book

Well, here's a pic of one of the pages for the book:

It is a "skinny book", meaning long and tall. This one is 4" x 8". (Did I already say this?) In internet-art-group land these books are a compilation of the work of many different artists, but this one is all by me. Each page will be a digital print of an original, hand-drawn picture, spiral bound, and then individually embellished with beads and cut-outs and such. These books don't lie flat, but instead are thick and juicy with little intriguements sneaking out from between the pages.

It is called Say The Words.

I will sell them on my etsy page next to Nannee, my hardcover papercut-picture book about a young woman who spends the day with her grandmother who is an herbalist.

I am off to make one of the final cutouts ... see you again soon.